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Gazprom halts gas supplies to Latvia

Gazprom stopped supplying Latvia with gas, the Russian gas giant announced on Saturday citing a violation of the conditions for gas withdrawal.

The move comes as a response to the announcement of Latvian energy firm Latvijas Gaze, which said it was buying gas from Russia, but not from Gazprom. During the last month, approximately one terawatt-hour of natural gas was delivered to Latvia from Russia and the payment was made in euros rather than in roubles as required by Gazprom.

“Latvijas Gaze is currently buying gas, but not from Gazprom,” said the company’s head, Aigars Kalvitis, adding that Latvijas Gaze had another supplier in Russia but he did not reveal the supplier’s name.

Latvia’s parliament has passed a ban on natural gas imports from Russia as of January 1, 2023 and amended its energy law to further support the diversification of natural gas supply routes and the provision of strategic reserves.

In recent months, Latvia and the other Baltic countries have been working to secure alternative gas supplies to phase out their dependence on Russian gas. Natural gas consumption of all Baltic states combined was approximately 4 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2021 (Lithuania – 2.3 bcm, Latvia – 1.2 bcm, Estonia – 0.5 bcm).

Gazprom has already halted or reduced deliveries to 12 EU countries. Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark were cut off from Russian gas supplies as they refused to comply with Gazprom’s demands to pay for deliveries in rubles. As a response, EU energy ministers reached an agreement on mandatory, bloc-wide gas rationing in case of winter supply shortages.

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